People with experience of substance use problems offered first step towards a career in social care

10th March 2021

Scottish Drugs Forum are delighted to announce that we are now taking applications for our two life-changing employability projects that support people with a history of drug or alcohol problems to take the first steps towards securing a paid job within the social care field.

Our Addiction Worker Training Project (AWTP) and Recovery Worker Training Project (RWTP) both support, train, and prepare people to gain a qualification in Social Services and Health Care – whilst paying them for taking part.

In each programme, trainees learn about the addiction field and how to support people who are currently experiencing issues with their substance use. They then take this knowledge and put this into practice during a placement within Social Care services.

During the 39-week course, a comprehensive package of support is also in place for the trainees which helps them take on every new challenge they face. Indeed, one former trainee said: “This has been my most special and rewarding year to date and I am grateful to Scottish Drugs Forum for not only giving me the opportunity, but being a solid and constant support through it all.”

The projects have expanded in recent years to new areas across Scotland and this year are inviting applications from people who live in Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Ayrshire and The Highlands.

Colin Pomeroy, SDF ‘s Senior Development Officer, said: “At SDF, we have been keen to provide as many people as possible the ability to benefit from the life-changing opportunities that both these projects provide. As a result, we are delighted that this year we have been able to work with funders and partners to provide trainee positions in seven different regions across the country.

“Over the years, our experience elsewhere in Scotland has been that above 80% of those graduating from our paid employment programme go on to work in either addiction services or the wider social care services.  Therefore, the programme not only benefits individuals, but also local services seeking to recruit motivated and skilled workers. 

Sharon Holloway, Development Manager of Highland Alcohol & Drugs Partnership said: “The Highland Alcohol & Drugs Partnership recognises the challenges faced by individuals who have had experience of drugs and alcohol to access opportunities for employment or further education. Stigma remains a significant barrier for many and we are committed to tackling the broader inequalities including improving access to housing and employment.

“Working in Partnership with the Scottish Drugs Forum, local services and partners, we believe the Recovery Worker Training Project can provide people with lived experience the chance to build confidence and be an integral part of services who deliver recovery orientated care. As part of the National Rights, Respect and Recovery Strategy this initiative will support individuals in their recovery journey.

“The Highland Alcohol & Drugs Partnership are delighted to continue working with SDF to deliver this opportunity for people living in the Highland area.”

Applications are encouraged from people who are interested in developing a career in the drug and alcohol field, and who are either two years drug free (including two years free of substitute prescribing) or two years free of problematic alcohol use by 31 March 2021.

Further information on the Trainee positions, including details on how to apply, can be found here – the closing date for applications is the 16th of April 2021.

An informal information session that will provide potential applicants, employment support providers or funders an opportunity to hear more about the projects will be held online on the 13th of April 2021 at 11.00am-12.00pm – click here to find out more and how to attend.